Propaganda, Crypsis, and Slave-making

  • Ralph W. Howard
  • Roger D. Akre


In complex ecological communities, the ability to survive and reproduce is often tenuous at best. Many organisms do so by simply “bullying” their way through life, but for many others a more furtive approach is necessary. These latter animals resort to either blending into their environment, or to mimicking specific species-characteristic cues of other, usually dominant, members of their community. Sometimes, rather than taking such a defensive approach, they resort instead to an offensive approach, using what have been called propaganda substances. They may even combine both approaches as has been found for some slave-making ants. Although a variety of cues may be used to produce these various strategies, by far the most commonly used cues are chemical, and they will be the only ones considered in this chapter.


Cuticular Hydrocarbon Alarm Pheromone Social Parasite Cuticular Hydrocarbon Profile Host Worker 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph W. Howard
    • 1
  • Roger D. Akre
    • 2
  1. 1.USDA-ARS U.S. Grain Marketing Research LaboratoryUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyWashington State UniversityUSA

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